Category: LibGuides

Textbooks and Reserves at Milne

Milne library has a growing collection of required course texts for many of the courses taught on campus. Most are available for 4 hour loan at the Service Desk.

For an in-depth explanation of all that is available, check out our Find Textbooks and Course Reserves Guide.  With many options of how to access required materials for students’ different courses, the process may be confusing. This guide will help students find material for their coursework.

If Milne doesn’t have the text or course reading that you need on reserve at the Service Desk, you may be able to find it in the general collection.  Here are a few ways to find out:

  1. Search for the title in GLOCAT+ to see if we have it in the library’s general collection.
  2. Search for the title of your textbook on our How Do I Find My Course Texts library guide to see if we have it on 4 hour reserve at the Service Desk.
  3. Search for it in IDS Search to see if we can borrow it for you from another library.

 

Finding Biology Data

Looking for biology data?

Projects, labs, and papers can all sometimes benefit from the use and analysis of data.  Professors may even require that you incorporate some original analysis of data in your projects.

If you are searching for biology data, I generally recommend two primary strategies:

First, you can start with a journal article.  Most primary research articles contain charts or tables of data that you can use.  And many articles now come with supplementary data – additional charts, graphs and data tables in a separate file that contribute to the article.  This is a great strategy if you are looking for data on a particular topic. Start with a search in Scopus or PubMed (from the biology subject guide) using keywords appropriate to your topic.

Second, you can start with the data.  There are biology data repositories across all fields – genetics, ecology, molecular biology, etc.  Where you look depends on what kind of data you need.  The biology subject guide details dozens of data repositories across all fields and can be a useful starting place. This is a useful strategy for those times when your professor says, “Find some data, any data.” Alternatively, you may already know that you need gene sequence data (or another specific kind of data) and there may be a data repository just for that.

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.

Courtesy xkcd.com, CC BY-NC 2.0

Of course, if you have trouble finding the data you need, you can talk with a reference librarian to help you search.  Stop by the service desk, send us an IM (from any library webpage) or request an appointment online.

Once you find the data, you’ll need to bring it into your favorite data analysis tool.  Stop by the library service desk to chat with one of our Tech Help students, or set up a technology consultation with our technology instructor, Steve Dresbach to help you do this.

Resource Spotlight: GIS Subject Guide

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geotechnology

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geotechnology

Milne Library, in collaboration with the Geography department, has created a research guide for Geographic Information Systems and Geotechnology.  This fast-growing, practical, and influential field of study is both evolving and diversifying.  It is used heavily in many fields to visualize data, including (but certainly not limited to) medicine, law enforcement and business.  GIS incorporates visual-spatial data, and  data in a way that allows the user to view and even manipulate information, ultimately providing those users with more context and a clearer understanding of that data.

Whether you’re looking for examples of resources that incorporate GIS, looking to learn more about this ever-growing field, or even looking to create your own data-infused-maps, this guide can get you started!

Want to add some pizazz to your next class presentation or project?

Social media creation software is making it so much easier to create professional looking content.  If you are looking to spruce up your projects and presentations, it could be as easy as  replacing your tired old bullet points with a colorful concept map, word cloud, or photo collage.

Check out our Social Media library guide to see tools that will help you make these, as well as other media creation software that librarians use and recommend!

It’s not ALL about the Citations…

Writing and Style guides and manuals

Writing and Style guides and manuals

You may think that APA and MLA and all those other acronym-laden guides are tedious and exhausting. I mean, c’mon! Who cares that much about spaces and commas and italicization, right?

Your professors, for one. Other scholars in your discipline, for another. Oh, and if you ever decide to publish in a scholarly publication? The editors who will evaluate your manuscript, that’s who! Scholars are required to follow the style guides of organizations in their disciplines when they submit articles and books to academic journals and academic book publishers in those disciplines for consideration of publication.  Are you a college student? Then you’re a scholar and you need to learn – and use – the rules.

There are an endless amount of websites maintained by librarians to assist in the confusing maze of citations (including our own Guide to Citing Sources) and they’re great for checking the fine details of your works cited page at the end of your writing project. Milne’s librarians are always willing and happy to assist you in this portion of your project.

Unfortunately, students often tend to think of the guides solely as a quick place to check on whether a citation is correct or perhaps to determine if the bibliography is formatted properly, and while they serve that purpose, I promise you, they’re so much more than that!

Outline Draft

Outline Draft, used courtesy of Flickr User CanadianAEh

Try picking up the guide or style manual – especially if it’s one you’re not accustomed to using – before you begin to write your research paper.  There are often suggestions for ways to organize and make transitions between your ideas. Peruse it again once you’ve written your first draft. Are you using the passive voice? That’s not a good idea and there are examples for using active verbs. And take a look again when you’ve finished your paper. You’ll find advice for how to write in a scholarly manner with suggestions for dealing with bias, and striking the proper tone. You might be surprised with all the things you’ve ignored or forgotten.

Perhaps you’ve always written well, but aren’t you always looking improve and be a stronger writer? People like to cherry-pick the bits of information that we need in order to save time, but when we do this, it is at the expense of the larger context. Do yourself a favor and spend some quality time getting to know the writing guide most often used for your discipline while you’re here at Geneseo.

There are copies of several manuals at Milne. The latest editions of the most heavily used guides are on 4 hour loan at the Service Desk so that students always have access to the information and there are additional copies that may be checked out, too.

Here’s a list of the most common styles:

Citation Manuals

Tools for organizing your research projects

Courtesy of JellalunaFlickrphotostream

If you’re like most students at this point in the semester, you are probably juggling multiple research papers or projects.   Keeping track of your research from all those various places you have to look (book catalogs, journal databases, and websites) can sometimes be challenging.

There are a number of free citation management tools on the market that can help you get organized. These tools will help you save and organize all of your research in one place, much like iTunes does for your music files.  Some of them will even insert citations and bibliographies into your paper for you.  Check out this library guide to explore some of the more popular tools available.

Can I access my course texts for free?

image of a stack of textbooksWelcome back students!  We hope that you had a great summer and are looking forward to a very productive year.  We are so happy you’re back on campus.

With each new semester come new options for accessing your required course readings.  This academic year does not prove to be any different.

To find out if Milne Library can access your required readings for free (or low cost), see Milne Library’s guide to textbooks.

Does the library own my course texts?

For a few semesters now, Milne Library’s staff has updated students on the availability and access options of their required course readings through blog posts. This semester, a new guide has been created to help students navigate the different methods of acquiring course texts, either freely at Milne Library or through IDS requests or for a reduced cost through a long list of commercial entities.

To find out if Milne Library can access your required readings for free, see Milne Library’s guide to textbooks.